Why there will be a real quarterback competition at Dolphins training camp

The Miami Dolphins are not as set at quarterback as some believe.
Miami Dolphins v Washington Commanders
Miami Dolphins v Washington Commanders / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

The Miami Dolphins will enter their 2024 training camp with Tua Tagovailoa, who is the No. 1 quarterback on the roster, with or without a new contract. Behind him, however, a competition should be brewing that will leave one of the remaining three without a job.

Miami's camp will break down like this: Tua will be QB1. Mike White and Skylar Thompson will compete for QB2. The loser of that competition will be on the practice squad. The odd man out will be Gavin Hardison barring a major surprise in camp.

We can't rule him out from making a case for the practice squad, but will he make enough of an impression to convince Mike McDaniel that he is more valuable than Thompson or White? That will be an interesting angle to watch in camp. Operating off the idea that he will not, as most undrafted rookies rarely do, the backup job behind Tagovailoa is a two-man race.

Will Mike White or Skylar Thompson be QB2 for the Dolphins?

White has 14 games to Thompson's seven, but in those games he is only 2-5. Thompson is 1-1 as a starter. He also started a playoff game in which he nearly knocked off the Bills in 2022. White has thrown 313 passes for 2,219 yards and nine touchdowns, while Thompson has thrown only 105 for 534 yards and one touchdown.

In his career, Thompson has three interceptions and White has 13. Experience may lean toward White but it isn't so much of a large gap that Thompson should be ruled out of the No. 2 role for that reason alone.

Elsewhere, as it relates to NFL rosters, money doesn't always matter, but in this case, it could if both Thompson and White are neck and neck. White simply is making a lot more and this could impact things for general manager Chris Grier.

White will count $5.21 million against the cap this year. The Dolphins, by releasing him, would save $3.5 million in cap space. Thompson, however, counts $1.005 million in cap space, with all but $41,000 recoverable if he is released.

Money may not play into this decision, but understand that if Miami needs a few million to sign someone else and both players are playing equally good or bad, then White offers more of a relief from a financial standpoint.

Both Thompson and White are eligible for the PS too, which is something to keep in mind. Both would be exposed to waiver rules and of the two, many believe that White would be claimed before Thompson. That isn't necessarily true, but given the difference in experience it's possible. Miami would risk losing either one, but there is a reason it matters.

The NFL's rule changes allow teams to dress the practice squad quarterback to serve only as the emergency third quarterback without using a game-day roster spot. In this case, the Dolphins do not need to carry three quarterbacks on the 53, and that will lead to one of these two being exposed to the waiver wire.